Is a first impression really that important?
Well take a look that this mind blowing video.
What did you think? People are evil? By the time you read this page you'll understand what happened.
We've all been told that judging people is wrong, yet we ALL do it. In fact you are wired to do it. You are judging me right now, on how I write, how my website looks. If we're honest, there is a good chance you already have an opinion from my picture on the home page. This is a simplistic way to look at it, but if you think about dangerous animals….a Lion for example.
If you see a Lion are you going to stick around and find out if he's going to eat you? Not every Lion is going to eat you are they? Should you go and ask the Lion? I don't think it's a wise move, most people would run or hide. Why? Well because your brain takes the image of a Lion and matches it to what you know or think about Lions. It does this very quickly. If you've only experienced Lions to be cuddly, then you're not going to be concerned. We all know that's not how Lions are
Now if the animal looks skinny. You might think it's sick or old and likely judge it less of a threat then a large healthy looking beast. Your brain is gathering information the whole time, and it's doing it unconsciously. Once the processing is done, out pops a judgement and you can either believe or ignore that. It's the same when you meet people for the first time. Your brain is assessing whether someone is a friend, foe or a match
It only makes sense that you apply this type of thinking to humans. In fact if you still don't think first impressions are that important, ask any father about first impressions. How does he react the moment a young man knocks on the door asking to see his daughter? I can assure you he will be judging that boy. If he looks even the slightest bit different to how dad thinks a good boy should look……..then he's doomed right from the start.
Cognitive Psychology tells us we use a collection of behaviours called Concepts, Prototypes and Mental Sets. Take tattoos for example, they tend to invoke a judgement in many people. If you add tattoos with a few other signals then it's likely that person will be "profiled". Which we get told is wrong, but this is how our brains work. Judgments may not always be accurate, but it's the reason that we're not going to have a prime minister with facial tattoos anytime soon.
As for the video above? A man in a suit is more likely to be "respectable" and more out of place laying on the ground. These aren't my opinions, I'm just explaining to you why first impressions are so important. The study below helps us understand why this might be the case.
First impressions can work against us if we're unaware of how they work. They can also give us an incredible advantage if we do know how they work. You can effectively hack someone's mind and have them form a favourable opinion of you. You get to bypass the conscious mind or rational thinking, and tap into someones subconscious mind.
For example, this study by professor Karen Pine is interesting, she is a long time expert in this field. Karen had 306 participants give their ratings on 8 images (4 male, four female). They used 5 categories which are considered important for social and economic reasons (confidence, success, trustworthiness, salary and flexibility). The man in the images, was wearing a tailored suit (made-to-measure) and a regular (off-the-rack) suit. He was presented in two different poses. The suits were both dark blue and of herringbone cloth. The woman was depicted wearing a skirt suit and a trouser suit, both navy and of the same fabric, in two poses. The faces were removed by pixilation so as to not influence peoples opinions. Participants saw the images for a minimum of three and a maximum of five seconds.
The man was rated more positively on all five attributes when wearing the bespoke suit.
The woman was rated more positively on confidence, salary, and flexibility when wearing the skirt suit.
So small changes in your dress style can change how people perceive your personality……it's almost absurd. Smart people are waking up to this now and are starting to use this hack to their advantage.
Now as I mentioned on the personal stylist page. Once people form an opinion, they are more likely to maintain that thought because humans feel the need to remain consistent. Changing your mind all the time is considered a negative trait.
This interesting research on the science daily site tells us that what we see is more important than what we hear.
If you've watched the video on the McGurk effect on the personal stylist page you'll understand why this happens.
Are first impressions limited only to people in the professional field? Of course not! I have had wives come to me who have taken care of the children. They have reached a point in their lives where they are ready for a fresh start, or are looking to do something positive for themselves. As the saying goes "If you want to make changes in the world, start with yourself" Your personal image is THE place to start.
So how do you form a good first impression? Well that is a big list and some of the things I cover in the Effortless Elegance program are as follows
- The colours you wear
- Your clothes style
- Body Language
- Facial Expression
- Hair colour
- Voice tonality and articulation
There is no set formula for this because the impression you set on a first date is going to be different from a job interview. The idea isn't to show you what to do in each situation, it's to teach you everything I know. That way you'll just know what to do in each situation, and you're be able to create the results you want.
In the program we focus on making you look the best you can. We consider your body shape, skin tone, personality, hair and other things to ensure what you wear looks right for you. When you look right you send the right message.
People aren't bad for being judgemental when it comes to first impressions. We have such an incredible amount of information coming at us on a daily basis. Judging at first impression is just a behaviour to speed up our processing of the world around us.
Getting the right hair cut for your face shape, skin tone and personality is one of the most important steps, but it needs to be in alignment with your overall image.
My question to you is this. Now that you know about this behaviour. Are you using it to your advantage or is it working against you?
Give me a call on (07) 3172 2990 and we can have a chat about what's possible for you.
Yours with style